Tech Notes

September 2019

Lightspeed Relay Internet Filter - Updates

Reminders and updates regarding the filter:

The help ticket type to use for submitting website add or block requests is listed under Software, App, or Website Issue > Website Allow or Block.

If you are having trouble accessing sites at all, try the steps in these Filter Troubleshooting Notes.

Parent Reports: Recently, the system started sending out usage summary reports to parents. These will go to the 1st contact in the primary household. Info on this can be found here:

YouTube: Based on staff feedback, we made some changes to how YouTube is filtered that will feel similar to how things worked with the previous system as far as what is accessible. As with blocked websites, requests to unblock a video should be put in a help ticket.

Temporary Whitelisting: Staff now have the ability to override block pages for most site categories. This should help in situations where you need access to blocked content to determine if it’s suitable for students. The override is good for 60 minutes at which point you'll be prompted again.

Filtering Levels: This is more of a secondary concern – “No Social Media” and "Aggressive" filtering is in place. “Aggressive” filtering will still be referred to by that term for now, but will likely be rebranded as something like “Restricted” filtering; in the new system we have more granular control of content so we can take a less heavy-handed approach to ensure access to educational or more generally appropriate content. Restriction settings can be reviewed in the document attached below.

Lastly, we continue to make tweaks to the filter and work with the vendor to implement suggestions and performance improvements. “Breaking in” a system like this takes a little time, as there is no perfect solution nor any way to tailor this type of service to the specific needs of a district out of the box. As always, specific issues should be addressed via a help ticket and you are encouraged to check in with tech on any broader concerns or questions.

Big picture

Department Goal: Phishing Prevention

The technology department has established goals this year in order to focus our efforts in certain areas. Here is one of our goals:

Goal: Phishing Awareness

Audience: All Staff

Measurement Tool: KnowBe4 phishing campaign software.

Current Status (if known): About 7% of staff clicked a link in a phishing e-mail in the past two campaigns (Spring 2019).

Target: 4% or less staff click a link or reply to a phishing e-mail by May 2020.

Rationale: Phishing attacks represent a threat to the district that encompasses the possibility of compromised information, identity theft, monetary theft, system outages, data loss, and erosion of trust.

The two attachments below offer some helpful tips for identifying a phishing message. Most suggestions boil down to being observant and trusting your intuition if a message seems out of character or unexpected.

Restart your device!

Saturday, Sep. 28th, 10am

This is an online event.

When was the last time you completely shut down and restarted your device? (Closing the lid doesn't count, by the way.)

Regularly restarting the computer can clear up issues, allows software installations to be completed, and can be a proactive measure to avoid problems later. Make it part of your routine!

Staff iPad & MacBook Refresh

Over the next month we will be deploying newer iPads to staff. Most of these will replace the iPad mini model. As of now, this project is about 25% complete (49/209 deployed currently).

Once the iPads are done (and as needed in the interim), we will continue with the current wave of staff MacBook replacements. As of now, this wave (year one of three) is about 33% complete (100 of 298 deployed).

Staff receiving a newer MacBook Air should also review the Tech Tools article that explains our rationale and criteria for dongle requests.

Tech Tools Updates - Phone Help

We have added several articles that cover set-up and features with the Mitel phone system.

Tech Tools Updates - SabersPrint in Chrome

Notes for using SabersPrint from Chrome updated to clarify color and single-sided printing options.

Summer Projects - Status Updates

Here is the status on left-over projects from summer:

  • Chromebooks at Middle Schools and CFC: Refresh/Replace most of the existing older HP Chromebooks. - Will be done in early October.
  • Wireless Access Points: Oldest model replaced district-wide (about 200). - Delivered; this is a "when we have time" project since this is a pro-active upgrade.
  • Infinite Campus: Build and deploy On-line Registration functionality. This will make it easier for families to do a new enrollment or to do an annual update to their information. - Completed; not yet deployed.

Quick Tip

Not connecting to SabersWireless? Keep trying! Connecting to SabersPublic as an alternative may be a momentary solution but causes other things (like filtering and printing) to not work correctly. Occasionally, when moving from room to room or waking up a device from sleep mode it may take a moment for the connection to SabersWireless to be reestablished.

A quick way to access some useful tools like a timer, sound meter, and more from the browser.